ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Slovenia


It has become customary for the editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #14, we catch up with Slovenia (RTV SLO) who will be represented by Tinkara Kovač with the song Round and Round (Spet) co-written with Raay, Hannah Mancini and Tina Piš.

Tinkara Kovač is a musician, singer, professional flautist and music and lyricist. Since her first single Veter z juga/Wind from the South, Tinkara first recorded two albums with ZKP RTV Slovenija Records (Ne odhaja poletje/Summer Doesn’t Bid Goodbye and Košček neba/A Piece of Sky). In 2001, she moved to Dallas Records and released three more studio albums (Na robu kroga/At the Edge of a Circle, O-range and aQa). One of them (O-range) was released as an international version in Italy (EMI) and also in Croatia (Dallas). With Dallas Records, Tinkara also released the single (Spezzacuori); a special project in four languages which was co-produced in conjunction with the Friuli record label Numar Un; and a Best Of compilation. 

In 2012, she released another album with Dallas Records, a special project with ex-Yugoslavian songs arrangements. Tinkara Kovač has in her 15 years of active music career received numerous awards (First Prize at the 1997 Melodies of the Sea and the Sun festival in Portorož, Slovenia, 8 Golden Roosters in 1998, Gold and Platinum awards for all of her albums. She was the runner-up at the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest pre-selection in Slovenia, the best video-clip and song at the 2000 TV MP3 NOW contest in London, her original music Reason Why was amongst the top ten at the 2003 ISC contest…)

Together with numerous and diverse music bands, Tinkara had played more than 800 gigs in Slovenia, Croatia, Austria and Italy. For her, her most prominent international collaborations on stage or in the studio were those with Ian Anderson (Jetrho Tull), Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Carlos Nuñez, Dan Lavery, Massimo Bubola, Bungaro and Paul Millns. In January 2013 and under her own record label NAI, Tinkara released a special project with lullabies and musical bed-time stories in dialects of Slovenian and Croatian Istria, Friuli Venezia Gulia and the Slovenian Coast and Karst Region entitled “Zazibanke/Lullabies”. 

She was elected the President of the Villenica Association in June, 2013; and later, on July 6th performed at the 33rd edition of The Melodies of the Sea and the Sun Festival with Mars in Venera/Mars and Venus song which she wrote in collaboration with Gaber Radojevič and Lea Sirk. She was awarded the Best Performance and the Main Prize respectively. Slovenia are yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest, with their best result being a seventh place, achieved on two occasions; in 1995 with Prisluhni Mi sung by Darja Svajger and in 2001 with a sublime performance by Nusa Derenda of the song Energy. Last year, Slovenia failed to get through the semi-final as Hannah Mancini and her song Straight Into Love only got 8 points to finish in sixteenth place.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 80%

Greig Watts: Nice flute opening with guitars, which is a bit different. I feel Eastern Europe liking this already. Now she comes in in her own language and that should be hard for an Englishman, but actually I love it. And she changes to English a bit further, and ooh, this is good, I am really liking the chorus, and the secondary hook too. So far everything I like in a song. Back to the verse, this girls Vocal is perfect in my opinion. This feels like a great mix of a song, in some ways Western but mixed with the flute and some different sounds, a like the behind rhythm and also the language mix, this should definitely be a qualifier for me and one of, if not my favourite so far.

Joseph Zammit: This is quite an unexpected good pop/soft rock song. It is difficult to pin one single genre to this song. It has a poppish sounding chorus yes, but it has elements of other genres as well. A bit of folk with the flute’s main tune in the beginning and bridge, a bit of rock as the heavy riff kicks in leading to the second chorus and a country-western guitar riff that comes in for a few seconds and disappears. It has many different styles and yet it succeeds into creating a single coherent song rather than it being all over the place. The more I listened to it, the more I started liking this song. 

Sharon Vaughn: The artist sings with passion, the melody is infectious and still remains unique. Like this a lot.

John Scott: Very nice voice and catchy song. The flute is a nice touch. 



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